Section of SAD leaders to meet on Aug 20 in Sangrur
The SAD leaders will meet in Sangrur on the day after a rally fixed to mark the barsi of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal
Amid the turmoil created in the Shiromani Akali Dal following the recommendations of the Jhundan panel report and the subsequent dismantling of the party’s organisational structure by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal, a section of SAD leaders are expected to meet in Sangrur on August 20 to discuss the “way forward for party’s betterment.”
The party leaders will meet on the day after a rally fixed to mark the barsi of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. However, the barsi event is being organised in the absence of party chief Badal, who is on a week-long foreign visit.
Those expected to attend the meeting includes former Lok Sabha MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, former Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder, who is considered number 2 in the party after Badal and local leaders – former SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal and former MLA Iqbal Singh Jhundan, who led a 13-member committee to suggest a course-correction after party’s debacle in the assembly polls.
“We will discuss the way forward for party’s betterment,” said a party leader on the basis of anonymity.
Last month, Badal dissolved all committees and frontal organisations of the party, including the core committee, “to pave way for course correction and resuscitating the party”, acting on the recommendations submitted by Jhundan committee.
Badal had constituted a five-member disciplinary committee on the day a section of party leaders huddled in Amritsar earlier this month. The move was criticised that a first committee to be re-constituted after dismantling of the party was a disciplinary committee, as according to the party leaders they had met to discuss improvements and course-correction in the party “as their right”.
Rebellion in party?
Last week’s announcement by Bhunder that Jhundan Committee report had not called for a leadership change while attending meetings with party’s halqa in charges and working committee members has led to a silence in the party.
Apart from other issues, the Jhundan committee suggested one family one MLA formula, two years term for the president, and seeking forgiveness for the mistakes committed during party’s rule in the state from 2007 to 2017.
“We have given feedback in the report what people and party workers feel at the grass-root level. Now it is up to the party to listen, accept and act,” said a member of Jhundan committee, adding that recommendations were given after at least 100 meetings with party workers.
The party president may face some tough time on his return.
“We have been asked to maintain silence, but for how long,” a party leader said, adding that they want party to get back into its actual strength.